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I am a Third Order Franciscan of the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Benedict XVicars Posted by Hello

Popemobile for sale? Ebay bids top $1 million

MSNBC - Popemobile for sale? Ebay bids top $1 million

If you ever wanted to own a piece of history, here is your chance to own the original Popemobile. Impress your friends and your neighbors. Now I would think that the original Popemobile driven by the Panzer kardinal would be a bit more tank like but I guess if you are the pope, you can drive whatever you want.

Moving In

I am moving into my room today. Well, I have been for several hours so far and I still have a few hours left to go. So, I'm taking a break right now to listen to some podcasts and submit a few blogs. Right now I'm listening to Vatican Radio which you can subscribe to with a variety of podcasting programs. I use iPodder since it's free and easy to use.

So far I'm finding enough room for everything, but just enough. You would think that poverty would mean that I didn't have much but I'm finding it easier and easier to rationalize poverty away by telling myself that even if I don't need something now - I may need it later when it will be more difficult and expensive to get it. How easy it is to convince oneself to do what one already wants to do.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Catholic World News : Archdiocese removes college's Catholic designation

Catholic World News : Archdiocese removes college's Catholic designation

Another Catholic school has had its Catholic designation removed for inviting a pro-choice politician to give its commencement address. The decision has no legal implications, but means that the school will not be appearing in the next Catholic directory. Apparently, Marymount Manhattan College did not object and said that it had been secular since 1961. See, who says the hierarchy is too quick to judge?

Catholic News of the Wierd: Man accused of trying to kill wife loses fight to decide her fate

CBC News: Man accused of trying to kill wife loses fight to decide her fate

In a strange case with odd comparisons to the Terri Schiavo tragedy, a man in Australia accused of trying to strangle his wife will not be able to decide whether to keep her on life support. The odd thing is that the accused husband is arguing that his Roman Catholic wife would oppose ending her life support. Perhaps this is a ploy to make him appear innocent in the criminal trial.

Br. Seraphim - Injured hermit

Prepare yourself for the terrifying tales of Br. Seraphim's moving adventure - that is adventure involving moving not moving in the sense of emotionally moving - though it could be that as well. Anyway, I managed to survive the extended trip from DC to Steubenville - about six hours on the road in the UHaul can without a cassette deck or CD player. Let me tell you that it was near torture when I was driving through the empty spaces of West Virginia and could only pick up two stations - one Country and the other Western. What made it worse was the fact that the windshield wipers made a sound roughly akin to fingernails on a blackboard whenever they went across the windshield and it rained a lot.

The good news is that when I got to Steubenville, the Students helped me unpack and did it all in about 20 minutes. The bad news is that when I was closing the UHaul door, I twisted my ring finger and it now has a hairline fracture. I have to see a doctor on Monday about it and hope it doesn't need a cast. The finger doesn't hurt but I can't bend it. Right now it is protected with a splint and a lot of bandage. Too bad it wasn't the middle finger. The other disappointing news is I have a bit of a delay before I can move into my room, so my stuff is stretched throughout the hall. If I had known, I would have packed a bit better.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Moving on

I'm almost all packed up and head off early tomorrow morning in the big behemoth of a van. I am glad to be finished - or practically finished as I still am editing a final paper.

As I blog this evening I continue to expand my experience into the new medium known as podcasting which is like blogging, but is done through audio. There are a couple of podcasts that I listen to - Catholic Insider and Catholic Cast. I pick them up with some free software called iPodder and all you need is a computer to download them and listen to them at your leisure. Catholic Insider is rather interesting as it comes from a Dutch priest who has been spending lots of time in Rome lately and reporting on the death and funeral of John Paul II and the election of Benedict XVI.

I also listen to a couple of computer oriented podcasts, but there is a wide variety of subjects available. Perhaps one day I'll try to make Friary Notes a bit different with an audio version.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The last day approaches

Tomorrow is my last day at the Union for anything whatsoever when I turn in my last final and take my last exam. I still have a bit of packing to do and picked up the moving van today. I hate driving large vehicles since I'm never really sure if the mirrors work. Plus, the inside smells like cigarettes and there's not even a cassette player to get me through those driving times when all that is playing is country and western.

The end of the NFP talk went well and I was able to use some of the stuff in my Social Ethics final assignment. I love it when things come together like that.

There has been a bit of controversy at the old school lately because of the publication of an anonymous satire in the school paper that got a lot of the faculty really mad and was considered offensive enough for the Director of Student Life to send out an e-mail of apology. I didn't find the satire to be particularly good at least when compared to my publication two years ago - The Union Weakly, but the event did get everybody talking and wondering who the author might be. Note - It wasn't me.

Friday, April 22, 2005


This evening's talk on NFP went pretty well. The presenters are a married couple, one Protestant and one Catholic, who have dedicated themselves to informing couples about Natural Family Planning.

This evening's talk was basically background material about the type of presentation that the couple gives to married couples in their diocese. I am finding it very useful not just because I didn't know a whole lot about NFP before, but also because I wouldn't be surprised if I had to talk intelligently about it in my future parish work and I believe that I can use much of it in my final project for one of my classes.

I spent much of the day packing and working on finals. Boxes are piling up in the hallway outside but so far I haven't made any surprising discoveries. I feel a bit like Geraldo Rivera on that old special about Al Copone's safe.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Last week

I'm starting to get things all packed up as I prepare to change locations. This evening was my last class, though I still have two finals to do before everything gets finished. Of course, this means getting everything all in order in my room and only God knows what I will find.

This weekend we are having a couple come into present us with information about marriage planning and NFP. While I really want to learn about these things before I start work as a deacon, having this the weekend before finals isn't the time I probably would have chosen. It will take some extra effort to get everything all done.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

New Pope

I don't know how many people are interested in my views as to the election of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger to the papacy as Benedict XVI but I'll go ahead and give them anyway. Before the election was announced, I gave a homily here in the house about our prayer that the Holy Spirit might guide the cardinals in their selection. It seems to me that in asking for a guide we are acknowledging that we do not know the way. One does not need a guide for a journey that is easy but only for one that is difficult and the selection of Benedict XVI is certainly difficult for many people.

I do believe that the Holy Spirit guided the cardinals in their selection, but I don't believe that either those who see the election as a disaster or those who are giddy for joy are looking at the election properly. The Holy Spirit is beyond our control and his will is his own, so when the election is made - liberals and conservatives, traditionalists and progressives should be humble enough to see that the selection was not made in response to our own desires, as if they are that important in the long millenia of the church. The Holy Spirit did not chose Ratzinger to spite the liberals or to give joy to the conservatives, rather the Spirit chose Ratzinger for reasons that are his own and which will likely only come to our awareness in the fullness of time.

So, how do I react to the election of Benedict XVI, I react with joy knowing that God remains with us and continues to guide us. Certainly our guide will take us through difficult terrain and we may have to suffer much on the way, but growth is never easy. We cannot remain in the womb, Peter couldn't build a tent on the mountain, and I can't stay here in DC forever. Each of us must continue to move forward from what we are now to what we are to become. For us, Benedict XVI is a necessary part of that growth. In what way? Only the Spirit knows.

Monday, April 18, 2005

I know that there is a lot of discussion about the qualities of our next pope, but I think that it would be great if he had a dog to ride along in the pope mobile. Posted by Hello

Moving on

I rented a u-haul today in preparation for moving out to Steubenville in a couple of weeks. It's kind of hard to believe that another chapter in my life is coming to an end. While I am certainly looking forward to leaving school, there are also parts of my life here in DC I will miss - not the least of which is easy access to the Library of Congress!

Steubenville will, of course, have its own challenges and rewards - but since I have already spent a year out there I am not too concerned about it. The most difficult thing will be getting all my stuff packed up. I don't know if all historians are pack rats, but I seem to have difficulty throwing things away that might be useful for posterity sake. Who know who might want to know more about this friar's life sometime in the future? Perhaps I might be the subject of some obscure doctoral dissertation. I just hope that they put a colon in the title.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

What a wierd world this is - buy stock in my stuff!

BlogShares - Isidore's Corner

I really don't know what to think about this. There are still no links to Friary Notes, but it is now apparently possible to buy stock in Isidore's Corner. Now, I just want you to know that I had nothing to do with this and I don't know what this means about my vow of poverty.

Does this mean that Isidore's Corner is more popular? I don't really know. I hope that if it is, some of this popularity might wear off on the Isidore's Corner web site when it finally goes up.

Should I buy stock in my blog, in case it comes under attack by a hostile takeover?

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Heading into the weekend

I turned in quite a bit of work today, so I only have a final project and an exam left to do before the end of my time at WTU. So close and yet so far.

Today we practiced funeral liturgies and talked about issues of priestly celibacy. The school also had a memorial mass for a classmate who passed away about a month ago. The service wasn't too bad, but wasn't as meaningful as I think it should have been.

In other news, I continue to do work on the revised web site. I know I keep saying this, but it is taking a bit longer than I expected - partly because I keep changing my mind about what I want to do, partly because I am still learning all the technology and as I learn something new I want to use it. This usually means changing other things. Still, I do hope to get a workable entity ready in a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Working on papers

Finished up the last of my Russian classes and I can tell that I need a lot of work to get back into shape. It would probably be better if I could do something intensive overseas but that is obviously not possible right now. So, I will simply have to do the best I can.

I spent the rest of the day working on final assignements - book reports and personal reflection papers. Tomorrow I have to go shopping and cook some pasta for dinner - it will probably be spaghetti.

It is very much looking like I will be leaving DC by the 29th of this month, so this may be your last opportunity for me to pick up those cute little snow globes with various capital buildings for awhile.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Problems of technology

Sorry about the delay. I tried to post last night, but Blogger wasn't behaving correctly. It's very frustrating to rant about a computer program, especially one that isn't on your computer. In any case, I will try to remember what I wanted to say earlier and rely on your understanding, gentle reader.

Life has been very busy as the end of school approaches. Next week will be especially busy as I finish a ten page book report - yes, I'm doing book reports in graduate school - on Graham Greene's The Power and the Glory. Fortunately, I have found it to be a very good book, though I can understand why the Vatican was upset with it when it first came out.

The warming weather isn't making things any easier as I am stuck inside for at least the next couple of days. I expect I shall get my first break around the time it starts to rain.

I went out to Steubenville last week to visit with the priest with whom I will be doing my deaconate internship. The visit went well and I received permission from my provincial to go there in May after my deaconal ordination. The parish has about 800 families and I can expect my share of baptisms, weddings, and funerals.

When I had free time I was still working on the website and trying to learn JavaScript. I have accepted that I am becoming a computer geek, but as I am celibate now I don't have to worry about alienating 50% of the population with my (rediscovered?) geekiness. I still only watch Star Trek about once every two or three weeks, so perhaps there is still hope for me, yet.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Weekend Travels

I spent the weekend up at Steubenville visiting with a pastor there about a possible deaconate. The meeting went well but I still need to discuss it with my provincial before all will be settled about starting there at the end of May. Of course, the death of the Pope was the major issue on campus.

The students have known no other pope than John Paul, so, for them this was truly the end of an era. They were indeed deeply saddened by the events of the past week. One student didn't want to go to class on Friday afternoon for fear of missing the announcement of the pope's death. There was a special memorial mass today on the Franciscan University campus.